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Motor Wiring & Pellet Build Up

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by mkpanache, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. mkpanache

    mkpanache New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Eastern, MA
    Hello Folks,

    I am at wits end with my St. Croix Prescott EXL. I have tried to join every forum and read every article that I can about this stove. Anytime I try to run this stove at any heat setting over three the stove will back up the pellets in the burn pot and its backs up into the chute where the pellets drop & for the most part my flame is huge. This stove has run like this since day 1. As long as I stay at 3 and below its fine. But sometimes in New England that is just not enough. I also have to keep the feed level at 1 & 4 which is the lowest setting. Ok so tonight I get my infamous #2 light that I get a couple of times a year. So I pulled the stove out of my fireplace and start to take the motor out. Getting ready to disconnect the Black and the White but the brown is chopped off. Look on the side of the door and their no schematic. I am sure that it is user era but I can not get this stove to work properly and I have had it for 3 years. I have had two boards replaced in the computer, and I have had this unit installed by professionals. Chimney is probably 20ft high and the company put a liner in the fireplace. I am getting a lot of clunkers in the burn pot, I am using New Englander Pellets. I love the stove and I love the money it saves me. But it can't be this hard to get a stove running properly. I clean the burn pot area once a day. I would appreciate any input you could provide. I have gone back to the dealer numerous times with no luck. I have emailed the company and still no luck, and actually I have never got a reply back from the company.

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  2. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Does the versa grate work properly?
  3. Wi Thundercat

    Wi Thundercat Feeling the Heat

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    Which motor are you reffering to removing? If you mean the combustion blower, mine also has a brown wire with a spade terminal on the end and it is not hooked to anything. Hope this helps!
  4. HopeItBurns

    HopeItBurns Member

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    Loc:
    South East, Michigan
    Do you have OAK installed? What is your EVL (Equivalent Vent Length). Did the installers use 3 inch or 4 inch exhaust pipe. Do you clean your exhaust piping at end of year? After running 1 ton thru, do you clean behind the plates inside stove. Do you take out your combustion blower and clean the fins? Number 2 light blinking could be "The vent system is plugged with fly ash." or "defective vacuum switch or hose" or look here on page 17:
    http://stcroixstoves.com/pdfs/Pellet Manuals/Prescott Manuals.pdf


    Clunkers or Clinkers could be the result of bad pellets, no OAK or poor or dirty venting.


    Question for the Pellet pigs on forum: what's the quality of New England Pellets?
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Standish, ME
    We need the information on exactly how the stove is vented (being done by professionals doesn't mean the job was done correctly).

    In addition we need to know how the damper is set and how you clean the stove.

    Was the stove originally new when you got it or was it a used stove?

    And if you are using an OAK and if not information about any other air moving devices in the house and what floor the stove is one and how many floors are in the house.
  6. HopeItBurns

    HopeItBurns Member

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    Loc:
    South East, Michigan
  7. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    ^^^^^^^^^ fixed broken link ^^^^^^^^^^^^
  8. HopeItBurns

    HopeItBurns Member

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    Loc:
    South East, Michigan
    Smoke Show: Thanks but how did you do that? PM me when ya get a chance.
  9. mkpanache

    mkpanache New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    Loc:
    Eastern, MA
    I would to thank all of you for your quick response. I will try to answer what I can and will get the information that you need to give me best case senario.

    1. I bought the stove brand new from a dealer $3500.00. And it has run this way since day 1.
    2. In the 20 years I have been in my house the fireplace that I showed you in the picture had never been used until I put the new stove in.
    3. I do not know the diameter of the pipe but I will find out and I do not know what a EVL is.
    4. My Damper is open to the point that I can just squeeze my pinkie in the opening. If I go less than that I get a lazy flame. At a pinkie " sorry for lamen's terms" I get the nice v-flame. But still cannot run it above 3 without backup in the burn pot and up the shoot.
    5. I clean the exhaust pipe on the back of the stove two or three times a year. That is how many times I get light#2. The chimney lining has not been done since I put the stove in, but the chimmy was never used until the pellet stove went in. And this is how the stove had always run, except for excessive klinkers.
    6. My routine for cleaning the stove is as follow: Empty ash pan and vac out left over ash. Then I remove the top plate near the exhaust tubes and plate and the tubes get cleaned. To the immediate right and left in the corner of those tubes there are a couple holes you can get a snake in and get ash to drop down behind the fake side wall. That fake side wall also gets a cleaning. Then I remove the quick access plates that allow you to get behind the brick wall and I run a snake up there on a electric drill and I hit that. I have even gone as far as run a aircompressor line in and a attach a small pvc hose that will go on my air compressor blower attachment and stuff that behind the brick wall. Makes a mess but hey if the kids are warm that's all that matters to me.
    7. Take the burn pot out and scrap off any debris or build up on the pot itself. Right across from the burn pot this is tube that runs in behind the brick wall. I clean that out with my attachment for my pellet stove vac. Then I put it all back together and fire it up...This is my major cleaning to me gets done every other week. My daily cleaning is to shut the stove down..empty ash pan...clean the burn pot and the burn pot area. Reinstall the parts and off I go. My brick crumbled and I never bothered to replace but most people seem to say you really don't need it.
    8. What size bottle brush will fit behind the firewall??
    9. I don't know what you mean by having oak installed. If you mean the flooring in the room its just a laminate.
    10. I only take the combustion fan out when I have too. Its difficult with my fireplace to get at the combustion motor out without pulling the stove off the hearth and that stove weights a ton for one guy.
    11. Like I said it has run this way since day 1...Replaced computer boards twice as well. Are these stoves or any stoves supposed to be this much maintenance??
    12. Also I have a very high vertical chimney probably 20' high so using a leaf blower on the roof would be kind of tough to do.
    13. Does this stove like a certain kind of pellet over another??

    Here is the link and the specs on the pellets I am using.
    http://www.pelletheat.com/products-a-services/our-products.html

    I have tried other pellets lot of kinds of pellets and it did not seem to make a huge difference.

    Thanks to all of you,
    Mark

    Do you have OAK installed? What is your EVL (Equivalent Vent Length). Did the installers use 3 inch or 4 inch exhaust pipe. Do you clean your exhaust piping at end of year? After running 1 ton thru, do you clean behind the plates inside stove. Do you take out your combustion blower and clean the fins? Number 2 light blinking could be “The vent system is plugged with fly ash.†or “defective vacuum switch or hose†or look here on page 17:
    http://stcroixstoves.com/pdfs/Pellet Manuals/Prescott Manuals.pdf


    Clunkers or Clinkers could be the result of bad pellets, no OAK or poor or dirty venting.


    Question for the Pellet pigs on forum: what’s the quality of New England Pellets?
  10. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Standish, ME
    Ok,

    EVL is equivalent vent length and is used to determine when to go from 3" to 4" venting and if you can even vent the stove with proposed venting.

    It is calculated by summing up the following that are in your vent configuration.

    1 foot of vertical straight pipe = 0.5 EVL
    1 foot of horizontal straight pipe = 1.0 EVL
    90 degree elbows or tees = 5 .0 EVL if vertically oriented or 10.0 if horizontally oriented
    45 degree elbows = 2.5 EVL if vertical or 5.0 EVL if horizontal

    All "horizontal" runs must have at least 1/4" per foot of rise.

    Now any reference to stoves and OAKs on this site refers to an Outside Air Kit, this connects your air intake directly to outdoors.

    All pellets are different they are not always the same from batch to batch even with the same brand.

    The reason why you are asked about an OAK is because it eliminates competition for the air in the house as but one benefit.

    Since you have your venting up through a fireplace flue how good a block off job did they do?
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Standish, ME
  12. mkpanache

    mkpanache New Member

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    Loc:
    Eastern, MA
    OMG I am such a idiot I had no idea what those terms meant... basically from what I can see they did not do a block off at the flue. Everything is wide open the lining goes straight up the chimney with a cap on the top...There is no block near the bottom of the fireplace. They put one elbow and that is at the bottom of the fireplace to get the pipe into the stove. Would pictures of the fireplace inside and out be helpful??
  13. mkpanache

    mkpanache New Member

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    Loc:
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    FYI the fireplace is on the main floor of the house. so its only heating the main floor and the top floor, no basement.
  14. mkpanache

    mkpanache New Member

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    A couple of other things. Now that I have looked up some of the terms and done a bit of reading, I understand a bit more.

    There is no OAK installed, and we have no block off. When we went to purchase this stove, told the dealer what we needed. I took pictures of the house, inside and out. What we have is what we ended up with.

    Thank you all for your help. I appreciate it very much.
  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Is there anything else you want to know, we answer questions all of the time here, that is what the forum is for, answer questions and provide help. You are our eyes, ears, and hands.

    Welcome to the forum, pull up a chair and get warm by the fire.

    There are a lot of fine folks on here and some of them are running the stove you have.

    Usually after you get past initial install issues most problems are cleaning related, so we tend to hit rather hard trying to determine how folks clean their stoves, it eliminates a lot of possible problems.
  16. mkpanache

    mkpanache New Member

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    Yes, I have a few, but I think I need to post some pictures of my house first. Thanks so much!!!

    ETA: I also want to provide more of the requested information.
  17. F6hawk

    F6hawk New Member

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  18. HopeItBurns

    HopeItBurns Member

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    South East, Michigan
    Well your EVL if your at 20 foot height is determined by this: (15 is the number your looking for)

    •90 degree elbows or clean out tees count of 5' of pipe
    •45 degree elbows count as 3' of pipe
    •Pipe running horizontally counts as 1' of pipe for 1' of pipe
    •Pipe running vertically counts as 1/2' of pipe for 1' of pipe



    but to be honest, being your chimney hight is 20 foot verticle and probaby have a 90 plus don't know your horizontal length, I would have went with 4 inch diameter.

    Plus I recommend to put Outside air kit in even if your dealer/installer said it was not needed.

    If you can't clean your chimney vent stack on the roof, either hire out or unhook your exhaust vent at your stove and blow out the vent stack out with a leaf blower or use a vacuum and knock on the pipe to get all the ash out. Their is a vacuum switch in your stove and if you suck on that with the vacuum, you could possibly screw it up so disconnect the little rubber hose first and also don't forget to unplug your stove.

    oh, another thing while you have it pulled out, take the combustion blower off and clean it, you may need a new gasket for re-installation.
  19. mkpanache

    mkpanache New Member

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    Sigh.

    I'm back. March 1st. I just don't get it. I took the entire stove apart completely. Blew the entire thing out. I am vacuuming the thing out every other day. Doing a weekly cleaning. It shut down with light #2 today, and the entire thing is backed up with ash. Even the pipe leading into the chimney is packed solid. I pulled that stove off the hearth and blew out every single part. It had never worked so good. Here are photos pf the piping, the chimney, the ash, everything. The ash is very powdery, like clay dust. Is my chimney too tall? Should I go right out the back and not straight up? I had a cover over the openings of the fireplace so everything was sealed up, and I took that off. The stove seemed to run so much better, but now it just stopped again. I am at a loss. Pictures are really big so you can see detail.

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    Attached Files:

  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Have you cleaned out the ash traps in the stove?

    There are at least two (and possibly three) plugs that can be removed to gain access to the ash traps. You need to really loosen up and suck all of the crap out of those areas. If you have only two plugs you need to go in from the combustion blower cavity to really reach the third problem area. Do not open up the combustion blower cavity without having a new gasket. When you remove the combustion blower you are likely to destroy the gasket.

    Also is your versagrate operating? If that stops running it is possible it is partially blocking your air flow.

    You should also check your damper to make certain it hasn't been inadvertently closed to far.
  21. mkpanache

    mkpanache New Member

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    Thank you for your reply. This has been an ongoing issue from day one. Every ash trap has been and is now clean. I just finished blowing and vacuuming that stove yet again. My versagrate motor is operating fine - that has never seemed to have been an issue. My damper is open.

    I had to take off the combustion motor and blow out the stove from there, but I didn't destroy destroy the gasket. Would that gasket have anything to do with clogging the pipe in the chimney? This major cleaning needs to be done three to four times every year since I have purchased this stove, and that just does not seem right. I can see the stove getting plugged, but the chimney? I just spent the entire night cleaning the entire stove, and light #2 is still on.

    I am going to have to call someone, I think.
  22. DBCOOPER

    DBCOOPER Feeling the Heat

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    Can you take it outside and run it without any exhaust hooked up to it and see how it runs?
  23. mkpanache

    mkpanache New Member

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    It's just me and my wife. I don't know if I can get that thing outside. That's a great idea, though.

    I did something I swore I swore I would never do. I bypassed the pressure/ vacuum switch, but the flame wouldn't stay running because there just wasn't enough air. Obviously, I missed something when I cleaned it.

    $175 for the first two hours and $60 for each hour after for a professional to clean it. God. I don't know that I have a choice.
  24. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Can you get to the vent pipe in the chimney?

    If so check the termination cap for crud plugging it and while you are up there and the stove is completely back together attach an electric leaf blower and suck the crud out.

    I wasn't kidding when I said there was a hard spot to clean on those stoves, also have you used a stiff brush and given the heat exchanger tubes a very good cleaning (remember to use a face mask)?

    Also make certain there is no down slope in that section that the clean out tee attaches to.

    You need to do a deep cleaning job (stove) every single ton of pellets burned.
  25. mkpanache

    mkpanache New Member

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    The roof is covered with snow - I can't get up there the way it is now, but I am going to suck the stove out with the leaf blower. I know the combustion motor area is plugged; I thought I got everything last night, but I was wrong. I am going to turn my stove and run bendable piping outside the window to suck it all out. I have not cleaned the heat exchange tubes. Will the blower take care of this? There is no down slope, so I think I am okay with that. I should have been using a face mask all along - I haven't been.

    But what is this about a deep cleaning after every ton? If I go through three ton a season, that's three of these cleanings each year? I have been told by many that this kind of cleaning should only be done once per season.

    Thank you for your help.

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